ZIMBABWE international midfielder Marshall Munetsi’s discipline, hardwork and patience has earned him idol status with South African National First Division football club, Royal Eagles chief executive Morgan Mammila the latest to reveal his admiration of the player.
The club boss has admitted that they have not been spared from the effects of the coronavirus which has paralysed world sport across the globe and were struggling to pay players’ salaries.
He has advised his players to get inspiration from Munetsi whom he described as an epitome of discipline and hardwork — notwithstanding the poor salary he was paid while still playing for FC Cape Town and Baroka in South Africa.
French League One side Stade de Reims — who had been tracking Munetsi while playing in South Africa for Orlando Pirates, eventually signed him prior to the start of the 2019 African Cup of Nations finals in Egypt in June. The French club has since given the Zimbabwean a one-year contract extension, which will keep him at the club until 2024 after impressing in his debut season.
“People think running a team is easy,” Mammila told KickOff.
“Not everyone has got money. And these problems they haven’t started now. It has been there for quite some time. And we must not run away from this problem [and say] that because people don’t have money they mustn’t be in football.
“For a player to be successful, you start from zero and you go up. If you are good enough you can earn R3 000 this season and next season you will earn R70 000. Remember, if you are good, PSL teams will see you and they will sign you.
“Remember, you are not doing anyone a favour. Remember, this is a platform. There are so many teams where players are not getting paid, so many. It is more about encouraging them to work hard so that they can break through and be seen by other PSL teams.
“So whether salary or no salary, because I respect football, I respect PSL, I must make sure that the team plays all the matches and honours all the fixtures. Just imagine all of us at Royal Eagles seeing the team out of relegation, I am telling you, most of you guys [players] will attract PSL contracts. That is the only part I am playing to make sure that the players are happy.
“Money-wise, we all know that we all don’t have money. I have always given the example of Marshall Munetsi. That boy was a workaholic, disciplined, he was working hard all the time. He was earning little that time; he was not earning enough. He was one of the people who were earning less money at the time he was with FC Cape Town and Baroka.
“Remember when we signed him for Baroka, we loaned him from Pirates. When he was offered to us, I said this is a good player, I know. But he proved himself that you can start small, and where is he now? Those guys who were earning double his salary, where are they now?”
Warriors coach Zidravko Logarusic has also spoken glowingly about Munetsi’s professionalism and hardwork and even predicted he would play for a bigger club in European leagues like Germany, Spain and England among others.
“Marshall (Munetsi) is a typical example of the talented players that are coming from Zimbabwe,” Loga said.
“They (Reims) extended his contract because they know he is a good and professional player who possess so many traits of good African players with stability, skill and speed.
“Since he arrived at Reims, he played 21 out of 28 games. It is not a small number, it’s a big number, especially for someone who had just joined the team from Orlando Pirates.
“He is only 23 years old, I think in the coming years he will be a much-talked about player if he keeps on working hard,” Logarusic told NewsDay Sport two weeks ago.